This week we are moored on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal at Oxley,between Autherley Junction,where the Shropshire Union starts on it’s way through Cheshire to Chester and Ellesmere Port,and Aldersley Junction,where the Birmingham Mainline ends,after it descends the 21 locks from Wolverhampton.It’s a good safe mooring here opposite Oxley Marine and there’s the added bonus of a friendly club house if you walk over Oxley Moor bridge.We’ve been here for a couple of days while we’ve waited for some friends to make their way down the 21,assisted by us of course.We walked up the flight,trusted Windlasses and Anti-vandal keys in hand,to meet them and help them through the locks.The four of us brought NB Doormouse down the flight in one hour fifty minutes.
Having left our mooring South of Brewood a week last Wednesday,we moved a couple of miles up the Shroppie to a mooring spot just a bit to the North of Brewood.Brewood is one of those places that we enjoy so much,there isn’t a lot there,just a Co-op/Post Office,a Bakers and a Greengrocers,a couple of pubs,various other interesting shops and a superb Butchers who’s meat is second to none.The Butcher will gladly deliver to boats on the canal if you’re only passing through and don’t have the time to walk into the village.After another day or two there we moved on further Northwards to Wheaton Aston for the weekend.Having winded at Wheaton Aston we left last Monday and made our way back down the Shroppie and stopped again for a couple of days at both of the moorings above and below Brewood.The reason there was no blog last week was because,as you can now no doubt work out,I really didn’t have a great deal to tell you,we just haven’t done much.In fact,we are still going to be taking things easy for another few weeks as we just gently make our way North for the end of November.We’ve got about ten weeks or so to do about 45 miles and 30 locks,that is,if we don’t decide to go off somewhere for a few days.
Just a little something I caught while we were moored above Brewood.The village of Brewood,viewed from the canal,with the Parish Church in the background.
Deans Hall Bridge to the South of Brewood,notice how the rope from the horse drawn boats has worn grooves into the cast iron plates on the bridge abutments.
The ornate balustraded Avenue Bridge on the Shroppie looks a bit narrow as we approach.It was designed by Thomas Telford but what it was built for I’ve been unable to discover.
A rare sight here at Oxley,two boats called Chyandour and as far as we know they are the only two with that name.The other is usually moored a few miles down the Staffs & Worcs from here at Dimmingsdale Wharf and we have met the crew on a few occasions now.
While we’ve been here at Oxley we got the bus on Saturday and went first into Wolverhampton,which is only a couple of miles away,and then from there to Tipton.The friends we were waiting to meet on the 21 were at the Canal Festival in Tipton and we thought we would just turn up and surprise them.We haven’t seen them since the end of November last year when they came to see us while we were moored at Merry Hill.Marianne and Mick are Canal traders on the Lollypop boat,and go to many of the festivals selling sweets while Marianne also reads Tarot Cards.Sadly,Saturday wasn’t a great day weather wise,it drizzled for most of the time we were at the festival,but there was still quite a good crowd of people brave enough to endure the typical UK weather and there was a good turnout of old working boats and entertainment for those that visited.
Just a few of the photo’s I took at the Tipton Canal Festival.As you can see there was a good turn out of old working boats.
Well that’s the lot again for this blog.Since our last post we have done 3 Locks,the one at Wheaton Aston twice,and 13 Miles,that’s up and down the same bit of the Shroppie.That gives us a Grand Total of 978 Locks and 1,594 Miles since we set off in October 2012.It’ll soon be two years.Take care everyone.